prepays . •
The Church Prepares
A Treatise on Rehabilitation
Issued by the War Services Committee of the
Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec
A WORD TO THE CHURCHES
The purpose of this booklet is to offer advice and suggestions to our
churches in their vital and immediate task of welcoming those who, through
the war, have been uprooted from their normal way of living. History and
tradition have taught us how to turn the civilian into a soldier, but we do
not know how to turn the soldier into a civilian again. It has been said that
what the times need is a new art, the art of rehabilitation. Our churches
must learn this art.
Although we think first, in this connection, of those in the armed
services who have borne the brunt of the conflict, we must give consideration
also to all other groups affected by the war. To every one of these different
groups must be extended sympathetic understanding, first of their back-
ground; second of the experiences they have undergone; third of the prob-
lems that immediately confront them. The approach of the church to each
one of these groups will be different, but underlining every effort must be
Christian patience and friendliness, and the realization that the supreme
task of the church is to declare the gospel of Christ.
After the last war, church members expected their returning veterans
to resume their interrupted church life immediately, ignoring or forgetting
all the abnormal experiences through which these men had gone. Because of
this impatience and lack of understanding, many never did resume their
church connection. This in turn caused them to be indifferent or unsympa-
thetic toward the church life of their families. Hence, we have a declining
church and Sunday School attendance.
We are told that 82% of all Protestants in the armed forces disclaimed
any church connection on enlistment. What a terrible statement to make
about a so-called Christian country!
This booklet is sent out with the prayer that our churches may measure
up to their post-war responsibilities as they have measured up to their war-
time duties. Our absent ones will remember with gratitude the constant
and thoughtful contact kept with them by the home church while they were
away. Our work is not finished, however, until they are again taking their
full share of church responsibilities.
HAROLD W. BICKERSTAFF,
Chairman of War Services Committee.
THE FOUR ESSENTIALS OF REHABILITATION
While concentrating our thoughts and efforts on the immediate problem
of winning the war, we must not overlook the necessity of preparing the
peace. There is a real danger, lest, for lack of this foresight, our social and
spiritual reconstruction after the war may be a mere patchwork of expedients
based on no well-considered principles, and setting before itself no definite
ends. It is here that Church members enter the picture, for Christianity
attempts to found action upon definite principles, and looks to the ultimate
purpose as well as to the immediate task.
Human life has four aspects — domestic, industrial, political and religious.
Life is incomplete unless it functions in a home, a workshop, a state and a
church. At home, a man is delivered from selfishness by the discipline of
love; in a workshop he is delivered from ineffectiveness by the discipline
of labour; in the community or state he is delivered from isolation by the
discipline of fellowship ; in the church he is delivered from moral and spiritual
ignorance by the discipline of Christ.
Our first task is to restore to the mass of our soldiers the possibilities
of home life. This means that every man who has worked and fought for
his country shall be assured of sufficient financial backing to guarantee him a
home in which to live — a place where he may enjoy the decent and reasonable
amenities of life. The "Post Discharge Benefits Scheme" passed in Ottawa
in October, 1941, seeks to cover this requirement.
But home is much more than a home to live in — it means a wife to keep
the home and to be a joyful mother of children. By exalting the ideals of
parenthood, by building up high moral standards, by keeping in touch with
the wives of Canadian soldiers, by strengthening in every possible way the
home ties of men who are overseas, the churches will do much to prepare
for the days when the soldiers will return to their homes.
From the home we pass to the workshop . Here we must aim at securing
work for all who wish to work. Surely the right to work is part of the right
of a man to live a true life. In times of war, workers are organized to pro-
duce the weapons of war. In times of peace let them be organized to produce
the weapons of peace.
Along with this must go the proper provision for the well-being of the
worker. This is one of the lessons war has taught us, for, on the home front,
as well as on the battle front, we have seen the value of recreation rooms,
technical and general educational courses, medical and dental services, and
other forms of welfare work.
Home and work are not all that a man requires for a full life. He needs
the consciousness of membership in a community and state. St. Paul suggests
that a man is made for citizenship. The process of developing higher ideals
of citizenship must, we think, begin with the individual. Our ultimate pur-
pose is to fit men for membership in a great society, a divine order, sometimes
called the Kingdom of God. This is the new World Order of the future.
If the community of the future is founded on Christian principles, it
will never sacrifice the interests of the many to the welfare of the few, for
it will recognize the right of every man to make the best of himself in his
own way, not as a new instrument of the state, but as a child of God, to whom
this life is a training ground for the life to come.
In the community of the future, too, national wealth should always be
estimated in terms of character rather than commodities. The real value
of any system is the quality of life it produces. In the long run, character
makes for efficiency. The foundations for industrial prosperity are ethical.
A good Christian cannot be a bad citizen. If we allow the moral character
of the people to degenerate, their productive capacity will sooner or later be
affected. Low wages, bad housing and unjust regulations in factory or work-
shop are uneconomical as well as immoral.
Finally, we must consider the Church and the part it will play in the
post-war order. This war must never be regarded as an isolated evil detached
from the general condition of civilization. Rather, it is to be seen as one
symptom of a widespread disease and maladjustment resulting from loss of
fellowship with Christ. The Church, working through its members, is part
of the cure of this disease.
In the post-war world, it will be the duty of the church to be really
"The Church", and not something else. It must manifest its true life in the
community of which it is a part. Its members must take the fullest possible
share in public life, in Parliament, in public organizations, in recreational
activities, and in other forms of public service. It must seek to make Christ
sovereign in all phases of life.
Let us note three dangers that will confront us in the post-war period :
(a) The danger of drifting. Peace will find us tired and poor. The
inevitable reaction will give the forces of inertia an opportunity.
(b) The danger of exaggerating the extent to which the unity of pur-
pose, evoked by the war, is likely to survive the restoration of
peace. Our Christianity must continue to be militant and aggressive.
(c) The danger lest our social reconstruction after the war shall mean
that each class or section of the community shall gain just such
advantage for itself as it is strong enough to secure. Our aim must
be to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, to protect
the interest and welfare of those who may be overlooked or for-
J. GORDON JONES, H/Lt.-Col, O.B.E.,D.A.P.C, (P),
H/Q 2 Cdn. Corps, C.A.O.
THE REHABILITATION COMMITTEE AND ITS FUNCTIONS
In a recent address before the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons,
the Earl of Athlone stated: "Whatever may be the ill effects of the war on
the physical well-being of our citizens, I feel sure that the most wide-spread
havoc will be wrought on their nervous systems. The restoration of sanity
to a shattered and unsettled world will be one of our most difficult and
It is becoming increasingly evident that the rehabilitation of veterans
into society will not be any easy task. While it is true that military service
may have developed his powers of initiative in certain" directions, and his
recognition of the place of authority in life, it is also true that he has become
inevitably a unit in a machine, dependent on others for all the necessities of
life and for the making of all kinds of decisions which, in civilian life, he
would make for himself. Returning to his hometown, he may find his former
environment quite different to what he had idealized, his friends away, per-
haps even his home changed, and the attitude of civilians irresponsive to
matters which have been paramount to him during his years of service. As
a result the veteran discovers that something has happened to him which
makes him quite a different person to the man who enlisted some years ago.
Perhaps the man is fortunate who discovers this change within himself and
seeks for a healthy adjustment. Too many fail to do so resulting in the "old
soldier" complex with its chain of unfortunate consequences.
Here, then, is the problem with which the local church is faced. It
must be solved for the sake of the man himself, his home, the church, the
country at large, and for the glory of God.
Let there be set up in every local church a unifying committee charged
with integrating ALL the work which is now being carried on for the men
and women overseas. Let this committee be a clearing house for the activities
of the Red Cross, soldier entertainment, overseas boxes, monthly letters,
hospital visitation, and rehabilitation.
Functions of a Rehabilitation Committee
The following suggestions are made as possible areas of service for a
sub-committee charged with rehabilitation :
1. Every member of the committee should establish an intimate, personal
relationship with three or four homes which have one or more of their dear
ones on active service. This will require three or four visits a year. Through
these visits the bond between the home and the church will be strengthened,
changes of address and rank noted, the interest and future hopes of the
soldiers discovered, and cases of especial need reported. The facts, as ascer-
tained, should be carefully entered on cards and filed. If these visitors will
also write once or twice a year to 'the men whose homes they have visited a
relationship will have been established which will be extraordinarily valuable
when the men return home.
2. The committee should make a careful study of the Government's
rehabilitation plans so as to be able to discuss these intelligently with those
seeking guidance. "When the Boys Come Home," by Senior, twenty-five
cents, is a semi-official publication giving all this information up to the Spring
3. Plans will need to be made faithfully, and invariably carried out, to
ensure the meetings of trains and boats. In some cases it may be desirable
to arrange for someone to stay in the veterans' homes to care for younger
children while the wife or parents go to the station to meet their dear one.
4. Many men are coming back only to spend long months or years in
hospital. Much is being done for these men, BUT NEVER ENOUGH. Most
carefully selected visitors should represent our churches. Little gifts are
appreciated but many men are looking for uplifting reading and for that
spiritual guidance which it is the function of the church to provide.
5. Some of the veterans will have economic or industrial problems
which may require a more intimate guidance than that which can be provided
by the officials of the government. An example of this is the lad who left an
office boy's job and returned a Wing Commander!
6. The committee will need great wisdom in dealing with British
brides now arriving in numbers. These young women far away from home,
family, and church, are arriving in a country which their husbands have
idealized. Let us see to it that we are worthy of that idealization.
7. Then there are a not inconsiderable number of men from other
lands (not all British) who are marrying our Canadian girls. These men have
naturally no church connection in this country and are, in general, none too
familiar with many of our ways.
8. Again, many Canadian girls are moving to the Old Land to estab-
lish their homes there. Steps should be taken to ensure that these young
women will be met by ministers of their own denomination and thus helped
in their re-establishment in the church.
9. Meetings of various groups of veterans, war brides, and next-of-kin,
will become a normal part of the life of the church. Meetings will differ
in nature to meet local conditions but each gathering should have a specific
purpose. Just as soon as possible the "Vets" should be encouraged to take
their place as leaders in the church, young adult groups, B.Y.P.U., the Sun-
day School, etc.
10. Above all, let not the spiritual dynamic of the church be subord-
inated to any lower purpose. While the church is definitely interested in all
that interests the development of personality the primary function of the
church must always lie in the field of the spiritual.
11. Committees will need to bear in mind that the men who return are
not the boys who went away. The experiences they have been through have
changed them a great deal more, perhaps, than they are themselves aware.
The lad whose life revolved around the Sunday School class and the B.Y.P.U.
may find with amazement that neither organization now meets his needs.
These areas of service are only suggestive. Many others will present
themselves to the alert committees. The members of the committee, acting
in the capacity of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, will find in and through
their loving and intelligent devotion all kinds of other outlets. Let the motto
of the committee be "Nothing is too good for our returning men and
SERVICE GROUPS IN OTHER FIELDS
Priority to Fellowship
Men and women of varied careers in connection with war service will
return to our churches. There will be petty rivalries, and, in some cases,
prejudices inimical to the fullest fellowship. Men who served in France
and men who never went overseas may look askance at each other for a time.
• The church must use every possible means to create understanding and good-
will, and to make for all, regardless of "category", a place of self-respecting
service in one or more of the fields of opportunity provided by a compre-
hensive church program. Common participation in a worthy task, rich in
spiritual purpose, will quickly relieve tensions and subdue conflicts, and make
the spirit of Christian brotherhood dominant. Not impressed by distinctions
of rank or types of war service the Church will treat all men as sons of God
and as members of one family.
Not to be Forgotten
Many men of the merchant marine will return to our towns and cities.
They have worn no uniform, and have been more silent and self-effacing
than the traditional "silent service." Yet they have hazarded their lives with
the rest, and at great cost have kept the lifeline to Britain intact under terrific
pressure. Perhaps no service besides the Air Force has suffered so many
casualties in proportion to the number of men serving as the Merchant
Marine. They must be treated with all the honor due the war veteran. In
some cases they will need more help than the war veteran in the matter of
economic rehabilitation. They will not, in all probability, enjoy the same
measure of government aid in this respect as will the men who have worn
the uniform. They must not be forgotten, and they and their families should
quickly learn that the church recognizes the magnitude of their contribution
to the war effort and their right to every possible consideration in the matter
of integration into the total life of the community.
The Battalions of Industry
War industry has occasioned a very great shift of population. Some
observers estimate that nearly 20% of Canada's population have moved from
pre-war homes to participate in war industry. Their new conditions of living
have, in many instances, involved almost as abnormal and difficult conditions
for themselves and their families as we recognize in the case of men in the
services. They have lived in crowded conditions. They have been cut off
from the influence of the home church and, in many cases, because of a sense
of tentativeness of employment and residence in their new situation, have
neglected church attendance. Unusual earning power has, in many cases,
led to the cultivation of personal and social habits which are not conducive
to spiritual growth. Close contact with many who criticize and berate the
church has disturbed that confidence in and respect for the church which
developed in the days when most of their friends and relatives were warm
in their regard for the church and in their estimate of its great worth
Participation in labor organizations has made them impatient with orderly
social progress and ready to side with those who demand revolutionary
change. In short, the church will have to realize that former members return-
ing from jobs in war industry will need wise and patient handling if they
are to resume their place in the life of the congregation from which they
have been so widely separated geographically and psychologically. Like
the men of the services they have been accustomed to action, efficiency,
responsibility, progress, and will be inclined to regard the old town and the
old church as a bit stodgy. Consequently everything progressive, creative,
and wholesomely new that the church can incorporate in its program will
appeal to these men and help to win their renewed loyalty and respect. Their
need, like that of returning service men, will include a good deal of warm
fellowship. In fact, the genuinely personal friendship of the "old home-
town" will be heartily welcomed by men and women who have lived in
overcrowded cities with their impersonal atmosphere.
The church must remember, too, that shifts of population incident to
industrial expansion will continue in post-war Canada. Let it, then, be
remembered that early contact by the church with a new family in a com-
munity is of great importance. To this end it is the sacred responsibility of
the pastor of a church from which a family is moving to an industrial centre
to notify the Baptist Church nearest the new place of residence of the expected
time -of their arrival, the name of their employers, and the place which they
have had in the life of the church which they are leaving. The departing
family should know that such a letter has been written, and, after they have
settled in their new home, they should be written to by their old pastor and
some of the church members for the purpose of encouraging them to enter
at once into the life of the new church home near by. It should also be
suggested that the Sunday School Superintendent of the Church from which
a family moves should write the Superintendent of the Baptist Church
School most convenient of access in the new community so as to give him
a chance to assimilate the new family as quickly as possible into the life of
his school. It should not be necessary to urge further that several families
of the new church home should be encouraged to show thoughtful hospitality
to the new family in their midst. Such planned friendly concern will bear
rich dividends in the life of the church and of the families thus carefully and
thoughtfully shepherded during the difficult days of transition from one
neighborhood to another.
And What of War Marriages?
Many British brides will be introduced to our communities within a
few months, as well as brides from the various parts of Canada in which our
boys have been stationed. The adventure of settling down to normal home
life after the unusual circumstances and tempo of life under war conditions
will be somewhat of a task. The women of the church, both young and old,
can do much to make these new homemakers happy and secure. They should
be entertained and visited by the ladies of our churches. They should find
a place in church organizations of interest to them — Young Married People's
Clubs, Young Women's Bible Classes, Young Women's Mission Groups,
Church Recreation Clubs, and the like. Previous experience in church work
should be quickly capitalized by finding for them a place of responsibility
in the life of the church. Where there are little ones in these new homes
they should quickly be enrolled in the Cradle Roll Department, and, fre-
quently cared for by girls or women of the church while the mothers are
freed to attend church services and meetings of church organizations. Ten-
dencies to prejudice, suspicion, aloofness, on the part of older inhabitants
of the community must be sternly repressed in the interests of Christian love,
goodwill, and service.
No further mention need be made here of the service to be rendered
the men who return with their brides. Sufficient reference to this has been
made in a preceding section.
This Above All
When all possible emphasis has been placed on specific plans and devices
for serving the needs of those dislocated by war circumstances, it still remains
necessary to stress the fact that, in the last analysis, the church's greatest
contribution to the lives of these folk will be made through the faithful and
winsome proclamation of the gospel of redeeming love. The church must,
to be sure, make provision for the social and physical needs of its people,
but its primary concern is for the spiritual needs of the people in the commun-
ity which it serves. Returning service men and their wives, in common with
all others in the community, need power to overcome temptation, faith to
meet life's circumstances with assurance, the transforming friendship of
Jesus Christ, the sustaining help of prayer, the hope of eternal life. The
church must regard all its organizations and methods as means for bringing
men and women to an acceptance of the salvation that is in Christ Jesus,
our Lord, and to happy fellowship in the life and service of the church, His
body. It can count its ministry truly successful only when it has succeeded
in this, its ultimate responsibility.
Our Churches are urged strongly to appoint immediately one of their
members, or a committee, to familiarize himself or itself with the provisions
of the various Dominion and Provincial Statutes and Orders-in-Council deal-
ing with the rehabilitation of service personnel upon their discharge from
the forces. The discharged person will be familiar with the provisions in a
general way but many will need advice and direction. The person or persons
appointed by the Church should be in a position to direct the discharged
person to the nearest centre, which the Government is setting up, to give
official advice and direction, but if the church is to do its full duty it should
also be prepared to assist in advising and directing and to take a more
personal interest in the discharged person than an official agency can be
expected to take.
The Church will sometimes be able to help ex-service men and women
with practical problems of rehabilitation. This should be done, if possible,
in co-operation with the government agencies created for this purpose.
1. Employment. Employment offices have been established in all main
centres across Canada. Church groups should assist in putting persons in
touch with these. In addition, Church members will know certain ex-service
men and women, and their abilities, much better than any government
official. They will also know opportunities for employment that might be
rilled by these. This kind of individual placement of workers will always
be needed and is a service of immense value. Organization and plans should
be begun now.
2. Housing. A primary need of many ex-service men and women will
be for a proper home for themselves and families. Some who had one sold
it on enlisting; others will be settling in different communities; others have
married and will be establishing new homes. When there is a shortage of
houses a large proportion of sales and rentals is effected through personal
and private effort. Here is another opportunity for the well-organized Church
group. It should also seek to exert an influence upon local and Dominion
authorities to improve and extend housing facilities.
3. Family Relations. Many have been away from home and family
for a long time. They and those at home have changed in the meantime.
Difficult adjustments will have to be made at the time of reunion. In some
cases the conduct of those away, or at home, has led to serious cleavages in
the family. The sympathetic understanding and wise counsel of the Church
can mean much in such situations. Sometimes she can help to repair what
has been broken and sometimes prevent a rupture. This is delicate work but
in most communities there are Christian persons with experience and success
4. Grievances. Many veterans of the First World War have complained
that they were not always justly treated by their nation afterwards. They
also feel that the Church did not champion their cause as she should have
done. Whether these accusations be right or wrong, it is certain the Church
must in the future show herself the friend and supporter of every well-
founded plea for justice and adequate recognition.
The readjustment of Canada's national life after the war may be further
complicated by problems of immigration.
At the very outset, we should realize that there are distinct limits to the
amount of Canada's territory that is available for new settlement. The
"Canada Year Book," 1940 edition, states that only 8.6 per cent of Canada's
area is arable. This amounts to only 325,000 square miles, or the combined
area of Texas and Oklahoma, and three quarters of this is already being used
for field crops and pasture. Canada could give away over 90 per cent of its
territory and still retain all of the land that is available for permanent settle-
Our limited resources of land have, moreover, suffered serious deteriora-
tion at the hands of man. The richest and most fertile of all our areas is to
be found in Southern Ontario; yet an official 1942 report presents a grim
picture of decay right here in this familiar territory: "All renewable natural
resources in Southern Ontario are seriously depleted. Unplanned exploitation
of the renewable natural resources of the Province has established a pro-
gressive degradation which will end in sterility unless control measures are
adopted." The same story could be told of rural Canada everywhere.
If we turn to our forests, we find that, according to the "Encyclopedia
Britannica," "the forests are being destroyed from two to two and a half
times faster than they are being grown." If we gloat rapturously over
our supposedly unlimited mineral resources, we find the Ontario Minister of
Mines stating that "proven ore deposits are being depleted at a rate far in
excess of replacements."
On the other hand, our whole past history demonstrates the tragedy of
bringing in population beyond the capacity of our economy to absorb their
labour. Thus during the 80 years from 1851 to 1931 the total immigration
into Canada was almost exactly the same as the total emigration out from
Canada, chiefly to the United States.
During that whole period we lost 6,110,000 people to the United States
of whom 1,740,000 were native Canadians and 4,370,000 were immigrants
who had found it impossible to get a foothold in our economic life. Some
immigration may be possible, but we must frankly recognize the limitations
of our economy and the very grave problems involved in its necessary
What of the prospects of people wanted to emigrate from other countries
to Canada? Here the future developments are far from clear. Just what
the situation of Europe in regard to emigration will be cannot now be fore-
seen. What is abundantly clear, however, is that our most likely source of
new population is the British Isles.
With all such persons who come to our shores, we shall need not only
to develop our economy so as to assure them of a livelihood, but also to
adopt an attitude of goodwill and helpfulness that will enable them to find
a contented place in our national life. All too often in the past we have
left the newcomer to starve and ferment, friendless and hopeless, in the
unemployed margin of our community life. "I was a stranger, and ye took
me not in," was one of Christ's bitterest words of condemnation, for those
whose religion was blind to human need. A fuller national experience for
Canada can emerge through a fuller spirit of brotherhood amongst its
citizens, old and new, regardless of origin.
CITIZENS OF ENEMY ORIGIN
During the last war and for some years after its close, fine men and
women of enemy nationality living in Canada and naturalized citizens of
this country, found themselves in a very unenviable position. They were
regarded with disfavor and suspicion by neighbors, associates, employers
— and many lost their positions. Even second generation enemy nationals
were sometimes included in this instinctive and to some extent understand-
able boycott. But it is a sad commentary on Christianity that church mem-
bers were among those who shared this feeling.
As this war nears its end, the Church and its followers must be alive to
the danger of a recurrence of this tragedy. It is within our power to save
innocent people from undeserved suffering. Let Church members lead the
way in tolerance and sympathy towards the group of enemy nationals living
in our own country.
REQUIRED IMPROVEMENTS AND NEW KINDS OF SERVICES
Knowing with what difficulty any variation of Church programme is
undertaken, however necessary and desirable, the writer of this section hesi-
tates and considers carefully before addressing himself to the argument.
But there is need for some treatment of the subject. Every chaplain says
so. Every writer on rehabilitation plans insists. Even an open-minded analysis
of the present order will suffice to convince the discerning examiner that
men and women of action and dangerous living will require of the Church
that she move out into the world with a worthy strategy that will mean the
winning of difficult engagements with indifference and cynicism if she would
have the support of these young adults, seasoned and matured by these
years of precarious living.
It would appear, therefore, that the Church and her leaders must prepare
to meet new needs with respect to her fundamental responsibility for wor-
ship, for education and for practical service to individuals, to families and
In the realm of worship there seems to be some demand on the part of
newspaper correspondents and other visitors among the troops for a more
informal or a "breezier" type of service. This writer is inclined to discount
this suggestion on the grounds of two considerations: first, worship is a
sober and profound experience if it is genuine and therefore it simply cannot
be "breezy" or too familiar. The service must provide in an orderly succes-
sion a sense of awareness of the presence of Almighty God, a reverent and
penitential approach to Him, the reading of the Word of God — a part of
the laws of holiness or of the promises of grace and help, or both — prayers
for the worshippers, the unbelieving, the distressed, thanksgivings and
praise, and the giving and consecration of offerings. While it may be
insisted that every service must contain every one of the above elements, the
fact is that most services should provide them all.
Secondly, the fact that services among the forces have been severely
curtailed does not augur that all Churches hereafter must adopt this pro-
cedure. On the contrary, thousands of young men and women will be looking
forward with happy anticipation to the time when there will be more time
for reflection, finer music, and atmosphere, in order that deeper feelings
may have opportunity to develop.
In a word, the central business of the Church has not been affected.
Worship continues to be worship. And those who have been deprived of its
ministry must be welcomed back into the service that brings God "nearer
than breathing" and sends forth the worshipper equipped with new vision
and higher purpose.
Educational Task of the Church
The educational task of the Church — including the sermon — may not be
passed over so easily. Before the war and even at the present time there
persists a serious deficiency in this regard. Ministers may ask themselves
if they have any business discussing the authorship of the Book of Hebrews
or the pros and cons of the Second Advent when news of heavy casualties is
filling the minds of his people and wringing their souls with grief. Leaders
in the Church may profitably enquire of themselves as to whether the insti-
tution has any right to be seriously considered by those who have in hand
the ordering of Society while it apologetically asks for an adult audience
for one hour per week with the efforts of only one man, however able or
consecrated, supplying the diet of that hour.
No! In very truth the Church must commence — and soon — to provide
an educational programme at least as good as that of a political or fraternal
organization. She must realize that the Kingdom of God never can be built
on pious feelings and devout hopes; that men and women of the services
who have discussed frequently and at length the merits of Communism and
the defects of Christianity will demand to be satisfied with respect to the
hopes, the safeguards, the inner longings, and the available resources of the
soul, the Gospel and the Church.
How can the Church measure up? A beginning can be made through
the morning sermon. Instead of putting a l, QED" at the end of it, let
the minister give himself to the preparation and delivery of at least -three
series of sermons a year which will provide the stimulus and much of the
material FOR DISCUSSION BY THE ADULTS OF THE CHURCH AT A
SUBSEQUENT SESSION — in a week-night meeting, or during the adult
study period of the Sunday School, or possibly in lieu of a second sermon,
in the evening service. Such sermons may be theological or sociological —
with roots in Jesus' message of the Kingdom. Both kinds must be attempted.
And in the discussion periods the minister must be prepared to receive many
divergent — and sometimes better — opinions. But the fruit of such a practice
will be a sense of satisfaction and a better spirit of co-operation than ever
before has been known. Further, with an informed, convinced adult member-
ship it may be anticipated that new impacts will be made on the community
towards the enlistment for Christ and the Kingdom of sympathetic, matter-
of-fact men and women, towards better municipal and federal government,
towards the relief of all manner of distress.
As it has been insisted from the beginning among Baptists that there is
no one person among them of privilege and authority, so by adopting the
above method, it may be discovered to the benefit of all that a sharing of
conviction and experience will make for a more vital fellowship and a more
effective witness, which are the true goals of Christian education.
Practical service is the greatest single observable defect in the life of
the Christian Church.
For want of it service clubs have grown up to world-wide proportions,
as did the Y.M.C.A. before them; and further, all manner of political
manoeuvering has gone on unchecked. Government, on the other hand, has
taken over the administration of numerous programmes, including religious
education, which, had the Church been alert and alive, would never have
been required. The Church must move out into the Community and in many
instances it must do so unitedly, if it is to merit the respect and win the
assistance of the young men and women of army, navy and air force
Here it should be pointed out that the Protestant chaplain service has
been, for the most part, interdenominational in character. Presbyterian, Angli-
can and United Church padres have won the respect of Baptist soldiers, sailors
and airmen and Baptist padres have ministered most acceptably to men and
women of all other denominations. This fact, together with the other efforts
to strengthen the Church's witness through the ecumenical experiences of
recent years, constitutes a challenge to the Church to maintain and strengthen
where possible these ties of genuine Christian fellowship and service. There
is no immediate prospect of any great merger of the Christian communions
but there is every reason for all bodies of believers to seek the maximum of
opportunity to present a united witness to the world. There is no doubt but
that such a demonstration will be hailed with delight by the lads and lassies
who wore the uniform.
Particularly in such matters as the conduct of religious surveys, inter-
church prayer services, joint summer services and occasional combined
services at other times, the circulations of petitions in support of Christian
attitudes on citizenship problems, the support of worthy community projects,
the backing of Christian candidates for public office — all other qualifications
being considered — the Churches with their ex-service men members ought
to find ways of joining hands.
There are other responsibilities which devolve upon the skill and
patience on the well-trained minister and with which space does not afford
treatment here. Many an honourably discharged man will have personal
and family adjustments to face that will tax his best resources and those of
his minister if the latter is at all the sort of person whose aid will be solicited.
Many a man will be exhausted and unstrung as he listens to the "case history"
of a truly weak and needy parishioner who has returned to a desecrated home,
but if he reveals his discomfiture his power to help will vanish in that self-
same moment. Kindly, wisely and unpatronizingly he must listen to the
problem. Gently and thoroughly he must probe for unrevealed elements
in the case until he and the other man or woman can look honestly at the
causes. Then he must plot a course that will make for the healing of the
wound, the restoration of confidence, the facing of the future with resolve
But the foregoing suggestions with respect to counselling are too general
and elementary. No minister, however splendidly motivated, can be sure
of being able to probe wisely or advise surely if he depends solely on "his
own good common sense." Counselling is a fine art and will require the
observance of careful technique. For indispensable help in this regard every
minister is hereby urged to seek guidance from the department of practical
theology of his university, as well as the aid of special studies in the field
which will be available from the libraries of that university.
Every minister should be able to offer helpful and remedial counsel.
Can you? Every minister should be available at stated periods and should,
is he can, visit the homes where his special help is needed. Do you plan to
meet these reasonable demands?
To sum up — Let worship be worship. Let opinions be aired and con-
victions be shared. But never leave them in the environment of mere views
and opinions. Harness them to the needs of unchurched men and women,
girls and boys. Let growth in knowledge and experience be joined with the
problems of everyday discipleship and citizenship. Make the hero of the
battlefield the Christian guide for boys and girls. Teach the father who
forgot he was one to repent and redeem himself.
Unless minister and Church can greatly help all along the line, she will
decline still more and more, and men and nations will be the sad and pitiful
REMEMBER THE CHAPLAINS
Much has been said and written about the rehabilitation of our fighting
men in the services, but little emphasis has been placed on similar help to
the chaplains and to other Baptist ministers now serving in varied capacities
in and with the forces. Yet we know, both through letters and through
conversation with visitors amongst them, that the matter is of tremendous
concern to our religious workers.
It must be remembered that these men have shared every experience
of the ordinary enlisted man: the boredom of training; the hardships of
active duty; the loneliness of being far from home and loved ones. Some
have been wounded and a few have given their lives in this non-combatant
but perilous service.
A Church for Every Chaplain
Two considerations should be ever present in the minds of church
members. First, and of paramount importance, is the matter of assuring the
chaplain a church on his return. Churches which are calling a minister may
well give primary place in their thinking to the men who have served us so
well overseas. They are coming back to us with the same fine spiritual
qualities they possessed when they left — but deepened, purified and strength-
ened in the terrible crucible of war. There is no need to wait until a man's
actual return to call him if he is the one to fill your church's requirements.
Send the invitation to him overseas. Lift his morale and that of all other
padres by the knowledge that he is remembered and needed. At the same
time secure for your church a fine leader to whom all your returning members
will be drawn for understanding and sympathy. The Pastors' Settlement
Committee and the General Secretary of the Convention can advise you as
to the whereabouts of our chaplains.
Time for Readjustment
A second consideration is that of giving our chaplains time in which to
readjust. They have been in an atmosphere so foreign to civil life that it
will require effort and patience to fit back into a civilian peacetime life. They
have had little or no opportunity for study. To many, a post-graduate
refresher course will seem essential to bring them back to the habit of study
and preparation of sermons, and to help them adjust to the clerical side of
Churches which are served by returned chaplains should be very sym-
pathetic and understanding in the first few months of adjustment. Extend
to your minister the same comradeship and co-operation as are given to
discharged men and women. Listen carefully to plans or suggestions he
may have for extension of church work.
HEAR, O YE NATIONS
Hear, hear, O ye nations, and hearing obey
The cry from the past and the call of to-day!
Earth wearies and wastes with her fresh life outpoured,
The glut of the cannon, the spoil of the sword.
Lo, dawns a new era, transcending the old,
The poets' rapt vision, by prophet foretold!
From war's grim tradition it maketh appeal
To service of all in a world's commonweal.
Then, then shall the empire of right over wrong
Be shield to the weak and a curb to the strong:
Then justice prevail and, the battle-flags furled,
The high court of nations give law to the world.
— Fredrick Lucian Hosmer.
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